Physical assault is a painful and traumatic incident that leaves a scar on the survivor’s life for a long time. However, with counseling and therapy, the person can return to a meaningful and fulfilling life over time with the support of friends and family.
Dr. Robert Turner – Understand the emotional stages in the path to recovery
Dr. Robert Turner is a skilled and experienced counselor in physical assault. He actively volunteers for socio-civic work and helps survivors of physical assault return to a meaningful life with therapy. He is a man of faith and attends church regularly.
According to him, the survivor faces four emotional stages of physical assault. They are-
- Shame/Guilt- There are a number of internal feelings that go on in the mind of the survivor. They often replay the incident in their minds, devising ways as to how things could have been different. They think of ideas they could have resorted to escape or prevent the incident from taking place. It is important for the survivor to realize the fact and understand that he/she is in no way responsible for what had occurred. It was not their fault. Self-compassion and understanding are needed for the healing process.
- Anger/Blame– Sometimes, the person blames themselves for the incident. They direct extreme anger at themselves, and this results in mean comments, thoughts that are hurtful in nature. In many cases, they resort to self-harm like cutting to cope with the pain and blame. At this stage of the therapy, it is important for the person to know the difference between blame and responsibility. Again, here, they should be made to realize it was not their fault. No one wants to be harmed intentionally.
- Mourning/Grieving – The stage often makes the person stuck inside the trauma and pain. They cannot move on. Grief makes one weak, vulnerable and powerless. Though there are no shortcuts to moving on, this is a stage where space, time, and support are required to help the person let go, and move on.
- Anxiety/Fear – This is the stage where “emptiness” sinks in and the question – “now what?” arises. The person has no clue as to what they should do next. Building new trust and a fresh start takes a lot of courage. There are fears to let go, and the anxiety of meeting people at social gatherings, friends, even getting into a new relationship persist. Again, at this stage, regular counseling and conversational therapy help the person overcome all the mental and physical challenges and move forward with a new life.
According to Dr. Robert Turner, there is new hope and trust after physical assault. Yes, the trauma persists and stays for a long time. However, people do move on. With the support of loved ones, friends, and family, it is possible for a person to start a new life. However, the first step is to understand and trust yourself first, if you are a survivor. This goes a long way in helping you to let go of the painful memories and bounce back to a meaningful life.